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7 Industries That Will Boom in the Next Decade

Here's where the big technology-driven opportunities will be over the next several years.

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Everyone's looking toward the future, eagerly anticipating what promises to be a long line of innovations due to rapidly evolving technology. Consumers know these inventions will change the way they work and play. Not only will they make some aspects of life easier, they could quite possibly empower people to do more with less money.

This means that, on a wider scale, many fields will see serious growth. And with growth comes opportunity.

Here are seven industries that are most likely boom in the next 10 years thanks to advancements in technology.

1. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has forced manufacturers to rethink the way their products function. This will continue over the next several years, as everything from refrigerators to toasters become more sophisticated. Even children's toys will eventually utilize IoT technology to entertain, educate and even keep kids safe. For example, tablets made for toddlers may let you monitor your child from the other side of the house through the device's camera while they're learning to spell.

2. 3-D Printing

As etailers compete to get products into the hands of consumers quickly, a new type of technology stands to change everything.

Once 3-D printers go mainstream, consumers will be able to select and manufacture the items they want, reducing the need to ship the item to them. This also brings custom design into play, allowing consumers to personalize an item like clothing or jewelry, then print it out immediately.

3. Finding Trust in the Sharing Economy

In the past few years, consumers have embraced services such as Airbnb and Uber, creating opportunities for themselves and the many workers who provide these services. Consumers will continue to seek services this way, but it will also be important for businesses to build trust by adding protections for both their customers and contractors.

Once those are strongly in place, these services can continue to grow. The sharing economy will continue to spread into other markets or industries, such as services in which people may be able to offer or trade skills with each other.

4. Wearables in Health Care

Technology will take health care in exciting new directions over the next decade, thanks in large part to devices such as health trackers. Instead of merely counting steps and monitoring heart rate, sensors will be able to track glucose levels and detect signs of cancer, while also allowing elderly patients to stay safely at home.

This in many cases will allow medical professionals to focus less on diagnosis and more on finding the best courses of treatment.

5. Virtual Reality

Today's consumers may think of virtual reality (VR) in the gaming and recreation context. However, there are real-world applications for the technology, especially in training. The technology is already being used to train medical professionals, giving them hands-on experience in a medical school setting. Once a professional is fully trained, VR can help them experiment with new surgeries or get a better look at certain tissues to create improved treatment.

Beyond the medical field, all kinds of ideas are emerging about how we may use VR in the coming years. Whether we're doing our day-today office work using virtual reality glasses that let us interact with a virtual office, or even relive actual physical experiences we've had in everyday life, the future is exciting and definitely a new frontier.

6. Connected Schooling

The Internet has opened up a wide range of opportunities for education systems worldwide.

In the coming years, classrooms will use technology like videoconferencing to access resources outside of their physical location. Students also will have access to more personalized learning, thanks to apps and connected classrooms.

For example, already there are companies producing apps that integrate teacher lectures onto tablets, allowing students to watch brief videos or take short quizzes during the day's lesson.

7. Digitized Hospitality

Travel is already becoming easier for consumers, with many hotel chains automating check-in. Apps will increasingly become tightly woven into the hotel experience, with consumers using their smartphones to check in, access their rooms, and request services.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing automation will increasingly help hotels send you personalized messages. The underlying theme for the future here is that the hospitality industry is working to make its relationships with customers more smooth, informed and beneficial to both sides.

For every industry, user experience will be a top priority as companies strive to win long-term customers. Through the use of technology, businesses can create experiences that flow seamlessly, making the lives of consumers and business owners far easier. The end result is that to remain competitive, businesses will need to invest in order to take advantage of new technologies and come up with innovative ways to deliver products and services to their customers.

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